10 Creative Ways to Use SMS Discounts to Drive Sales

SMS marketing has the potential to be a very powerful means of communication. Text messages are a powerful touchpoint that reaches both your offline and online customers, in a lightning-fast, personal, and direct way.

SMS is quicker than most channels, has a lower cost, it is more personal and very popular for users of all ages and any type of mobile device.

Today, SMS is the fastest growing marketing channel for brands around the world. Over half of consumers have already signed up to receive SMS messages from their favorite brands, opting in for its convenience and ease of communicating via text messages.

Combined with a very irresistible personalized discount, SMS marketing can help your business build trust and loyalty, promote brand recognition, and gain a great return on investment.

This blog post will remind you of 10 creative ways to use personalized discounts to increase sales and customer engagement. Perhaps some of them are relevant to your brand as well? Scroll further to see what we have put together for you and you might just get a great idea for your next text marketing campaign.

 

Cash Discount, Percentage and Free Shipping

Cash discounts, fixed percentage and free shipping are probably three of the absolute go-to ways to make your customers feel appreciated, attract new ones or win old ones back.


Being so popular, literally every store out there, from the smallest local grocery store to the giants, has relied on them repeatedly which leaves very little room for error. So how do you decide when to give a cash discount, when a percentage off and when to offer free delivery?

Percentage discounts are a great alternative if your store’s average order value is in the 100 to 200 range. Why? Think of it this way: if you offer a 10% discount on a product of $50 value, this translates to $5 saved. Now what will sound better to your customer: $5 or 10%?

On the flipside, firm amounts are perfect for stores with a higher AOV, where a $50 coupon on a $500 product sounds much better than a 10% discount, although they equal the absolutely same amount in the end.

And finally - free shipping is altogether an effective way to get customers back to your store, but especially if they’ve abandoned their order or have been inactive for a little while. Cost of shipping is usually one of the key determinants for customers when deciding on the store to shop from. Moreover, it’s also one of the greatest deterrents when it comes to online shopping in general. 

discount_SMSBump

 

  SMS Template 1:

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, order our Pamper Package with {DiscountValue} discount and indulge in some well deserved self-care while at home! {DiscountCodeUrl} 

 

  SMS Template 2:

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, sharpen your skills and become the BBQ Master Chef in town! Here's a {DiscountValue} discount to use on all our grill tool sets: {DiscountCodeUrl} 

 

  SMS Template 3:

Hey {FirstName}, check out the new fall collection at {SiteName}. Choose from 30+ stylish urban outfits. Enjoy {DiscountValue}: {DiscountCodeUrl} 

 

Go to our How to Add Discounts in SMS Marketing Campaigns and Automations article for the complete set of guidelines on how to include discounts in your text marketing campaigns. 

 

Product Bundling 

1 + 1 = more. 

The more, the merrier.

Product bundling is a good strategy to gently lead your customer into buying more than they have initially planned on. After all, you are just suggesting a purse to go with the shoes they are interested in to make sure it all comes together nicely. 

This way, not only do you have the chance to increase your average order value (AOV), store profits and conversion rate, but you leave your customer satisfied, well-equipped and with the feeling they have struck a great deal.

product_bundles_discounts_SMSBump

 

  SMS Template 

{StoreName}: Shoes + Bags = Eternal Love. {FirstName}, grab a pair of dazzling shoes and you'll get an amazing bag for only half the price: {DiscountCodeUrl}.

 

Important: to avoid confusion and any issues, make sure that the link in your SMS leads straight to the deal or the page on your website that contains all items your customers can select from to make the bundle. 

Read through our article to get more ideas how to create bundle deals and care packages for your customers. 

 

BOGO offers 

Many studies show that customers would rather take advantage of a Buy One Get One free promotion than a regular 40-50% discount. And psychology has a huge play in this as customers feel like they’re getting one item for 100% off, instead of two items for 50%. Although when you think about it - it’s basically all the same.

BOGO offers are so successful because the perception they give to customers is that they are getting a big deal, and that is what matters. This discount mechanism is generally used to move inventory, so if you’re sitting on a lot of stock that you want to clear out, this promotion could be a great option. Alternatively,  it is also a way to create cash flow when it is lagging. People have to buy more to get the offer, so at the end of the day they still end up spending.

BOGO_discounts_SMSBump

 

  SMS Template 

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, see the world in a new way - literally! ? Enjoy our limited BOGO offers and get yourself a pair of new summer shades: {SiteUrl}

 

Customer Loyalty Rewards

You always want to think about your most engaged customers, as loyalty is a two-way street. And SMS marketing could be the highway to establishing a good relationship with your customer, but it needs to be maintained closely and always with extra dash of care. 

Maybe give your customer a surprise pair of free gloves after they have purchased a scarf from you. Or send them exclusive deals they can take advantage of with a “secret” code that’s unique to them. Keep them happy by offering them an extended discount they can use with their next purchase. Or propose that they take part in an exclusive competition, available only for VIP customers. The options are countless!  

customer_loyalty_discounts_SMSBump


 

  SMS Template 

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, being a Gold member has its perks: be the first to check out our latest holiday sale and get {DiscountValue} OFF everything: {DiscountCodeUrl}

 

Bonus Info: Speaking of customer loyalty, our Yotpo synergies enable you to invite people to join your loyalty program via SMS. It helps you drive repeat purchases and sustainable growth for your brand, as well as give customers a way to join, engage with, and share your brand community. 

See Top 6 Reasons Every Ecommerce Brand Should Consider Offering a Loyalty Program for more information and guidelines.  

 

Referral Programs 

Referral programs are a great way to fulfill two goals in one go. In this case - to both reward your current customers and have them, basically, do the heavy lifting for you, by inspiring them to invite their family members, friends, colleagues to connect with you and your business. Or the oldest trick in the book - word of mouth. 

Just some quick stats to show you exactly how powerful referral programs could be:

  • People are 4 times more likely to buy a certain thing when referred by a friend

  • 77% of consumers say they are more inclined to make a purchase if it was approved by a friend of family member

  • Referred customers have a 16% higher lifetime value, i.e. referral leads are not only easier to close but they help your business long-term. 

referral_program_discounts_SMSBump

 

  SMS Template 

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, a new dress is always a great idea! Refer a friend, make them happy and get {DiscountValue} OFF your next purchase with us: {DiscountCodeUrl}  

 

Birthday Specials 

Is it your customer’s birthday? Or is it your store’s birthday? Or maybe it is some other special occasion. Regardless, treat them to a nice deal so they know they made the right decision by saying “Yes” to you. This also greatly helps in retaining your customers for a longer time when they see appreciation other brands don’t offer.

birthday_specials_discount_SMSBump

 

  SMS Template 

{SiteName}: Let's celebrate your special day together! {DiscountValue} OFF on ALL party equipment and accessories for a night you won't forget: {DiscountCodeUrl} 

 

And to make your customer’s experience even more delightful, SMSBump partners with ReConvert, a creative Shopify page builder that designs powerful "Thank You" pages after successful checkouts and allows merchants to collect customers’ birthdays to send them a gift on their special day.

Read how to install this integration and if you haven’t yet - start collecting your customer’s birthdays to make them feel even more cherished on their important day! 

 

Abandoned Cart Offers

The average eCommerce store loses over 75% of its sales to cart abandonment. That’s about three-quarters. It’s 6 slices of an 8-slice pizza.

Did you know that to this day customers who abandoned their carts do so primarily because of high extra costs, such as shipping and other fees? And there is a simple explanation to that - the customer browses through your store, likes a product, places it in their cart as they are getting ready to buy, and the minute they move to the checkout page they are hit with extra costs. The conclusion is that the customer was alright paying a certain amount for the product, but the fees on top was what deterred them and ultimately - made them leave. 

So what are some ways to tackle at least this issue and reduce cart abandonment?

Decrease the price of shipping fees for customers who have abandoned their cart right before checkout. Or omit them for purchases over a certain value. Or why not drop them altogether? You could also give your customer a long-standing offer  - say, “complete your purchase and get free shipping on your next order”.

abandoned_cart_discounts_SMSBump

 

  SMS Template 

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, did you forget something? Your cart is almost expired! Get back, before items sell out. Complete your order now at {AbandonedCheckoutUrl}. 

 

Re-engagement

Customer inactivity is probably one of the most common obstacles all businesses face. Do you have customers that purchased something from you but have been completely dormant since then? Yes, dormant.

Because they still are on the look-around, they still rummage through your site, they still have an account with you and haven’t cancelled their subscription, but just haven’t bought anything from you recently. Or they have, but you want to make sure they stick around for longer. 

A tested-and-true way of bringing back inactive customers and increasing their lifetime value (CLTV) is by automating winback messages, triggered 30 and 60 days after last purchase. With that, why not give them a 10% discount on their next purchase as an additional incentive to return and shop again. 

Alternatively, you can try and re-engage customers who just bought from you. One way to do that is to enable the product cross- or upsell automations, i.e. to offer your customers promotions on specific items you think they might like, based on the last purchase they made. This will increase your customer happiness and will also help you boost your store’s average order value. 

winback_upsell_discounts_SMSBump

 

  SMS Template 1: Winback

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, we haven't heard from you in a long time. We miss you, so grab our {DiscountValue} discount and get a lovely new sweater: {DiscountCodeUrl}  

 

  SMS Template 2: Cross-sell

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, congrats on your new teapot! Do you want a set of cups to go with it? Now with {DiscountValue} OFF: {DiscountCodeUrl} 

 

 

Holiday Promotions 

Always be relevant. It might seem like one of those things that just has you going “duuuh” but it is highly important that you take advantage of different holidays and seasonal occasions to run your promotions and remain in the spotlight of important events. 

For instance, this means announcing your Christmas deals and discounts in advance and preparing your audience for the promotions you’re going to be running during the jolliest of times. 

holiday_discounts_SMSBump

 

  SMS Template 1:

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, our 48h Christmas flash sale starts NOW! Use code {DiscountCode} and enjoy {DiscountValue} off selected items. Ho-Ho-Go! {DiscountCodeUrl} 

 

  SMS Template 2:

{SiteName}: Hi {FirstName}, we've missed you! Easter Bunny is here with some exclusive offers! Of course, shipping & return are on us! {DiscountCodeUrl}

 

  SMS Template 3:

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, get exclusive access to our BF Grand Sale and enjoy a limited time VIP discount of up to 70%! Available at: {DiscountCodeUrl}


Bonus idea: Make sure to check out all the seasonal guides available on our blog to get ideas how to use SMS marketing to promote your themed deals. The latest guide will give you 5 different ways how to approach customers during the summer time with creative text marketing campaigns that will break the sales records. 

 

Influencer Offers 

If there is one thing for sure in this world, it is that people tend to either want to look like, sound like, behave like, dress like their favorite singers/actors/musicians/artists etc. Nowadays, people have social media influencers to get inspired by. According to recent studies, 49% of consumers depend on influencer recommendations when pondering over purchases.

It’s safe to say that collaborating with an influencer to popularize your brand is a good way to go about it. Have them promote your brand on their blog, vlog etc., while in return you can give them infinite discount opportunities and of course - return the favor and promote them as well. Provide them with an exclusive coupon code they can share with their followers and drive even more traffic to your online store. 

influencer_discounts_SMSBump

 

  SMS Template 

{SiteName}: Hey {FirstName}, get our "Irresistible" new scent - tested and approved by the one and only KK. Feel the glam and get a {DiscountValue} discount at: {DiscountCodeUrl}

 

 

BONUS Idea: Subscription Product Discount Tips

Another crafty way to use discounts is when a customer first subscribes for your SMS program. Offering them a discount while they are still on your website will help with conversions as they will be enticed to shop while the discount still lasts. 

 

  SMS Template 1: 

Hey, {FirstName}, welcome to {SiteName}'s family of SMS subscribers! As a thank you for joining us in this exclusive community, please enjoy {DiscountValue} off your next order. But hurry, offer stands for 24 hours: {DiscountCodeUrl}. 

 

 

SMS, spice...

...and everything nice. As long as you are mindful about giving discounts because giving discounts is a tricky business and you always have to be careful not to hurt your margins. Simple math shows us that  with a 33% discount, you’ll need a 50% increase in sales to end up with the same revenue. And with a 50% discount, you’ll need to double your sales to keep revenue the same. 

So, again we emphasize the importance of careful timing, thorough customer research, compelling and attractive message, and of course - desirable offers. Short, simple, hot. Get started today!

Viktoria is a Content Creator at SMSBump. Besides writing for work and pleasure, she is an avid foodie, a big fan of Stephen King, and enjoys spending time at the beach.

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